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Heavy Medal: A Mock Newbery Blog
Inside Heavy Medal

2013 Best Book Outliers


You’ll recall my Best Books Overlap post which demonstrates the way that Booklist, the Bulletin, Horn Book, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly have already come to a kind of consensus.  But each journal champions books that the others do not, and they are not necessarily any less distinguished because of it.  Earlier this […]

San Diego Winners

Seven people met at our very first San Diego Mock Newbery, and our results were as follows– Newbery Medal THE TRUE BLUE SCOUTS OF SUGAR MAN SWAMP by Kathi Appelt Newbery Honor ERUPTION! by Elizabeth Rusch We had our winner on our first ballot, and this is how the voting went. CLEMENTINE AND THE SPRING […]

Saving the Best for Last?


What follows is the strange and fateful tale of a boy, a girl, and a ghost.  The boy possessed uncommon qualities, the girl was winsome and daring, and the ancient ghost . . . well, let it only be said that his intentions were good. If more heavily seasoned with romance, this might have made […]

True Blue Scouts


Earlier, Nina described this book as peacocky, and I think that’s an apt description.  No other novel on our shortlist, save FAR FAR AWAY, has such a striking, distinctive narrative voice. OFFICIAL SUGAR MAN SWAMP SCOUT ORDERS keep your eyes open keep your ears to the ground keep your nose in the air be true […]

2013 Best Books Overlap

Well, it looks like Jen J beat me to the punch.  She must get the print copy of the Bulletin whereas I have to wait for them to post online, so I’m taking her word for the Bulletin Blue Ribbons. six lists- BOXERS/SAINTS five lists– ELEANOR & PARK LOCOMOTIVE MARCH: BOOK ONE MR. TIGER GOES […]

Whale Watching


PICTURE BOOK  VS. POETRY When last we discussed IF YOU WANT TO SEE A WHALE, Leonard brought up a good question: Should we consider this text as a picture book or a single poem?  Ultimately, I’m not sure that it really matters how we classify it, but it’s definitely helpful to look at it through […]

Clementine and the Spring Trip


If a book is challenging, and suitable for 13-14-year-olds but not for younger readers, is it eligible? Yes; but it can be given an award only if it does what it sets out to do as well as or better than other, younger books that are also eligible. Of course, we may say the same thing for […]

December Nominations

This is the third and final time that the Newbery committee will trade nominations (3 in October, 2 in November, 2 in December).  In order for a book to be on the table for discussion, it must first be nominated, so we may see many people use their final two nominations, not to build consensus, […]

Can Mythology or Folklore Win the Newbery Medal?


Every once in a blue moon the Newbery committee recognizes a work of mythology or folklore.  Don’t hold your breath, though, as the last book recognized was IN THE BEGINNING by Virginia Hamilton (1989), and before that WHEN SHLEMIEL WENT TO WARSAW (1969) and ZLATEH THE GOAT (1967), both by Isaac Bashevis Singer.  THE WHITE […]

If You Say It Right, It Helps the Heart to Bear It


After a series of wonderful poetry collections about sundry animals in their natural habitats, Joyce Sidman turns her prodigious talents to the most fascinating one of all: the human animal and its singular talent for language. BLESSING ON THE CURL OF CAT As cat curls in a circle of sun– sleek and round,  snug and […]